Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster)


French: Élénie à ventre jaune German: Gelbbauch-Olivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío ventriamarillo

P[ipra]. flavogaster


, 1822,

presumably Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Formerly treated as conspecific with E. spectabilis, but ranges overlap widely in Brazil, and the two differ vocally. Birds in SW Colombia appear intermediate between nominate race and semipagana. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. f. subpagana P. L. Sclater, 1860 – SE Mexico E from S Veracruz and Chiapas (including Mujeres I, off N Quintana Roo) S to Costa Rica, also SW Panama (Coiba I).
  • E. f. pallididorsalis Aldrich, 1937 – Panama and adjacent islands (except Coiba I).
  • E. f. flavogaster (Thunberg, 1822) – Colombia, Venezuela (including Margarita I and Patos I), Trinidad, Tobago, S Lesser Antilles (the Grenadines, Grenada), the Guianan Shield, Brazil (S, except in W & C Amazonas, to Rio Grande do Sul), SE Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and NW & NE Argentina.
  • E. f. semipagana P. L. Sclater, 1862 – #Rextreme SW Colombia, W & S Ecuador (S to El Oro, including Puná I) and interior NW Peru (recently recorded in Tumbes#R).
  • Descriptive notes

    16–17 cm; 21–29 g. Medium-sized, small-headed elaenia with conspicuous bushy crest, often parted in middle to reveal white coronal patch. Nominate race is... read more


    Calls include hoarse “breeer”, rising and then falling, and repeated “wreek-... read more


    Variety of humid and arid, wooded habitats, including lighter woodland, second growth and edge,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects and berries taken. Usually found singly or in pairs; larger numbers may gather at fruiting trees. Animated and conspicuous,... read more


    Season Feb–Sept; May–Sept in Colombia (although birds in breeding condition in Feb), mainly Apr–Jun in Lesser Antilles;... read more


    Mainly resident; in Mexico, those in Veracruz and Oaxaca largely withdraw to S of Isthmus of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common throughout most of range; rather uncommon locally, e.g. in parts of Ecuador. Range possibly extends farther S... read more

    Recommended citation

    Hosner, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Yellow-bellied Elaenia (Elaenia flavogaster). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 November 2019).